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The Creative Writing Major

The creative writing program leads to the Bachelor of Fine Arts. By dedicating their collegiate study to creative writing, students commit to becoming writers; they can expect to be treated as serious writers. As such, they will engage in the formal and rigorous study of craft through reading, revising, and developing the methodical and critical skills that assist in improving their own creative work as well as the work of others. If students apply themselves deliberately to the study of writing in their time at RWU, they can expect to establish solid foundations for these essential practices, common to all writers/artists.
Incoming freshmen are accepted to the creative writing program on the basis of a portfolio, containing both creative and analytical writing, submitted as part of the application process. Matriculating students may enter the creative writing program by earning a grade of B- or higher in CW 210 and CW 220, on the basis of a portfolio, or by recommendation of one or more full-time creative writing faculty members. (See: Special Requirements for Applicants section of the catalog.)
Each year, the creative writing program brings to campus such writers as Rick Moody, Kim Addonizio, Marjorie Agosin, Steve Almond, Ann Waldman, Tom Chandler, Stuart Dischell, Mark Halliday, Stewart O’Nan, Dan Chaon, Tobias Wolff, Jennifer Haigh and C.D. Wright who speak on literature and writing and read from their works.


Creative writing majors must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements and the College speech requirement, COMM 210. In addition, the creative writing major must successfully complete the fourteen (14) courses listed below and sufficient electives to total 120 credits. Majors are encouraged to apply electives toward a minor or second major.

Foundation Courses

CW 210 Form in Poetry  
CW 220 Narrative in Writing the Short Story  

Four (4) courses from the English major

Advanced Bridge Courses (Take two)

CW 350 Writers Reading Poetry Seminar  
CW 360 Writers Reading Fiction Seminar  
CW 440 Writing Contemporary Poetry  
CW 450 The Use of Style in Writing Fiction  

Advanced Breadth Courses (Take two)

CW 241 Introduction to Playwriting  
CW 242 Screenwriting  
CW 310 Creative Nonfiction  
CW 330 Literary Publishing  
CW 430 Special Topics in Creative Writing  

Breadth Course in the Fine Arts (Take one)
(Some of these courses may have pre-requisites; refer to course descriptions for details)

DANCE 150 Introduction to Dance Technique  
DANCE 161 Tap and Theatre Dance Styles I  
Elementary Contemporary Modern
Technique and Improvisation I
Intermediate Contemporary Modern
Technique and Improvisation II
MUSIC 170 Basic Musicianship  
VARTS 101 Foundations of Drawing  
VARTS 231 Foundations of Sculpture  
VARTS 241 Printmaking: Relief  
VARTS 261 Foundations of Photography  
VARTS 281 Foundations of Painting  
VARTS 301 Advanced Drawing  
VARTS 351 Intermediate Concepts of Photography  
VARTS 352 Advanced Photography  
VARTS 381 Painting: The Figure  
DSGN 100 Introduction to Design Communication  
DSGN 110 Introduction to Typography  
THEAT 110 Acting I  
THEAT 123 Design for the Theatre  
THEAT 210 Acting II  

Thesis Courses (Take both)

CW 480 Creative Writing Senior Seminar I  
CW 481 Seminar II – The Thesis